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Africa’s richest woman is barred from her bank and under investigation

Isabel dos Santos, Africa’s richest woman and the daughter of Angola’s former president, is under scrutiny by her bank and the Angolan government after a leak of more than 700,000 documents showed how she exploited the country’s wealth to enrich herself.

EuroBic, a Lisbon-based arm of a bank where dos Santos is the biggest shareholder, said Monday that it was ending its “commercial relationship” with her and investigating transfers worth tens of millions of dollars, transactions that were revealed on Sunday by The New York Times and other news outlets working with the Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

Angola’s attorney general said Monday that the government would “use all possible means” to bring dos Santos back to the country, where she faces possible corruption charges and where her assets were frozen last month, along with her husband’s and those of a Portuguese business associate, Agence France-Presse reported. The Angolan government, led until September 2017 by her father, José Eduardo dos Santos, said the three were responsible for more than $1 billion in lost government money.

Isabel dos Santos is reputedly Africa's richest woman.

Isabel dos Santos is reputedly Africa’s richest woman.Credit:AP

The leaked documents, which include emails, invoices, slide presentations and contracts, provided a paper trail showing how Isabel dos Santos and her husband, Sindika Dokolo, amassed a fortune of more than $2 billion through their stakes in vital Angolan industries like telecommunications, diamonds and construction. Angola, rich in oil and diamonds, is nevertheless impoverished, with one of the world’s highest infant mortality rates and endemic corruption.

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